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Did you ever have one of those days…..

where no matter what you did, nothing would go your way? That’s how tonight’s crafting adventure ended up! I was working on my last project for the #pawgustart event and every thing I started wasn’t to my liking. I started out trying to watercolor with distress inks, but couldn’t find my heat tool to heat emboss the image. So then I decided to paper piece the image. That turned out ok and I continued to work on the card. The next step was to use ink on an embossing folder to create trees and a blue (inked) background. When I added the paper pieced owls onto it, I did not like the way it looked.

I decided to scrap that project (after making two video parts for it, totaling over half an hour!) to work on making a flip card from a steel die. I have never really done one, so I thought I would give it a try. First attempt was poor at best! I tried to cut two pieces of patterned paper and glue one down to each side. The card would get stuck as you were flipping it. I gave up on that idea and decided to cut a new base out of white card stock, use the center pieces from my failed attempt and go from there.

I took a Heidi Swapp 12 x 12 heart stencil and used Barn Door distress ink to create the background. Next, I glued on the pieces that I cut out from my “failed” attempt at the flip card to cover the middle piece that flipped. I used the stamps from the Simon Says Stamp Circle Friends stamp set to create the background, bear and the sentiment. I added some clear gems for some sparkle to the card.

Here is the video that I made for the event :

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Operation Write Home

So, I’ve been really pretty depressed lately. First with all of my health issues and just thinking about all the new tests they have to run and all the restrictions to my diet and life. Then, I got rejected from a craft show I participated in last year. And not just any show – it was my first ever and it was one that I helped out with. So, I felt pretty down.

But then I watched one of Jennifer McGuire’s videos on how she made cards for the troops overseas. It’s an organization called Operation Write Home. For those of you who don’t know, I am a big believe in giving to charities. Recently I donated over 8 large trash bags of clothes to Goodwill, made cards for Hayden’s Heart and am in the process of making cards for March of Dimes fundraiser. Sometimes I’d rather make things to give away just because I like making cards.. (Although I do sell them on Etsy, so if you like them, you can certainly buy them – who am I to turn down money??  : ) ) I try to give back as much as I can.

So, I went over to the website to check out the rules and requirements. I signed up for my free Operation Write Home stamp that has to go on the back of every card and I learned what you can and can’t make for the troops. (In a nutshell – NO glitter, NO handwritten sentiments, standard A2 size card, positive themed, grown up type cards). I have some ideas in mind and am going to start working on some designs today. There is a calendar for when they need to receive cards by for specific holidays, themes and images to stay away from and themes they are looking for.

They also do HeroMail, which is when kids send in pictures or cards to the soldiers. I thought this was such a sweet thing. I am sure that the soldiers appreciate any kind of mail, especially pictures and cards that were so thoughtfully made by kids! If any of my teacher friends are interested in using this as an activity in their class or if any of my crafty friends are interested in participating, the website is :

This certainly came at the right time. I needed something to focus on that was positive and I am glad that I did. I will post pictures of the cards I make in a couple of weeks. (It will take awhile to get the stamp for the back so I can’t send them right away).

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Information overload!

I’m feeling a little defeated right now. One of the Etsy teams I am on did a (voluntary) critique and I signed up for it. Problem is, when I signed up I figured I’d have all this time to make and add things to my shop. However, I didn’t. I also didn’t work on a new avatar or a new shop banner. The avatar is a picture of a center piece that I made for my sister’s bridal shower and the banner is a picture that my niece made on some program on her iPod (which is supposed to be me). 

Well, I got ripped for having those two in my shop. Almost everyone hated them. Yes, I know I needed to change it. And yes, I thought I would have had something to replace this images by now. But, I didn’t and now I am feeling overwhelmed. Also, even when you know something is wrong, sometimes it hurts to see it. I wanted to defend all comments, but deep down I know they were all right and just trying to help me. I need to remember that! 

It wasn’t all bad. My work itself got great compliments, as did my shop policies and the fact I offer free shipping. It made me feel good that people said that they liked my work. But why is it that you can get a million great compliments, and only focus on the negative? Or is it just me? I know I asked for it and it really is helpful. It’s all things I need to hear and it will help me in the long run. 

So for now, I will make a list of all of the comments and suggestions and work on one at a time. If I break it down, maybe that will help me from being so overwhelmed. It’s always good to have others look at your shop and give honest feedback, whether it hurts to hear it or not. These other people sell on Etsy and have an idea of what customers are looking for when they shop. They also don’t know me so they can be honest without doing that polite “it looks great!” feedback you often get from friends and family. (Unless you have a sister like mine – she’s brutally honest with me – more so than most of these other shop howlers probably were. Haha). 

I feel a little better now that I have a plan. Not so overwhelmed!